We Need a Deeper Bench
We are very proud of the team of election workers the Dallas County Republican Party has developed over the last two years. For the first time in living memory, we have enough election workers to properly staff every Voting Center in Dallas County for both Early Voting and Election Day. This includes Voting Centers in deeply blue areas of Dallas County that haven't seen a Republican Judge in many decades.
In 2022, we provided approximately 98% coverage which was the highest percentage of ANY party in the State of Texas! The 2% that we failed to cover was due to Judges' last-minute emergencies.
This was a tremendous success but we aren't yet satisfied; we want (and need) 100% coverage! To meet this goal, using a sports metaphor, we need a deeper bench! We need to increase the number of Election Judges in our pool of election workers.
Many people who don't work in the election process don't know that each of the major political parties in Dallas County (Republicans and Democrats) is responsible for the recruiting and scheduling the staffing of all Presiding Judges, Alternate Judges and Election Clerks in every Voting Center in Dallas County. In other words, we normally place our people in the Voting Centers we choose. The Party appoints them and the Commissions Court approves them. The Dallas County Elections Department (DCED) doesn't perform these duties, the two major Parties do. Republicans appoint Republican Judges and Democrats place Democrat Judges. In places where we are the dominant Party, our appointed Judges are the Presiding Judges. If we are not the dominant Party in a particular area, our appointed Judges are the Alternate Judges. It is the prime responsibility of each Party to provide staffing in Voting Centers to operate elections according to the Texas Election Code. DCED only steps into this role in the event that either Pary fails to provide qualified Judges by the specified deadline before each election. If a Party fails to provide its elections officers for each Voting Center by the well-known published deadline, DCED has the emergency power (granted in the Texas Election Code) to step in and assume the role of the delinquent Party for the Voting Center in question. We not only lose the right to appoint our selected people, but in these cases, DCED will appoint the first available person regardless of Party affiliation. In other words, if we don't fulfill our role by providing qualified Republican Judges within our deadlines, there very likely could be a Democrat serving in the job that otherwise could be held by a Republican.
To preserve our rights in election operations, we simply have to show up with enough trained and qualified people. It is indeed that simple. Navigating the Texas Election Code and the election bureaucracy can be challenging at times but we have an experienced and knowledgeable coordinator to make it as easy as possible for our Election Judges. Our coordinator can navigate the difficulties for our Judges and can answer most questions. Importantly, the Coordinator serves as a central point of contact for all Judges.
We want EVERY Voting Center covered because having trained and knowledgeable Republican Election Officers in EVERY Voting Center are the frontlines for election integrity. The voting and election processes assume the participation of BOTH parties in Voting Centers; we cannot preserve our rights unless we are present in the Voting Center in an official capacity as an Elections Officer. We cannot abdicate our responsibilities by failing to show up and fully participate in the procedures specified in the Texas Election Code.
We want to attain the goal of 100% coverage for every election, both now and in the future.
This includes the upcoming 2024 Republican Primary. The Republican Primary places a higher demand on our election worker team for both more Election Judges and more Election Clerks. For example, since this is a Republican Primary, we must fill all of the Presiding Judge positions (called "Co-Judges" in a Joint Primary nomenclature) in every Voting Center in Dallas County. This means many of our people who regularly serve as Alternate Judges must step up to fill these positions Presiding Judges/Co-Judges positions. Some of our Alternate Judges who have never been Presiding Judges before think this is a "big ask" because of the additional duties required particularly in staffing Election Clerks.
It also means that we have to fully staff Republican Election Clerks in every Voting Center where we usually don't get to place clerks at all. Presiding Judges hire all of the Election Clerks in their Voting Centers and some Democrat Judges simply won't work with Republicans. This is why we have a far greater need for Election Clerks in Primaries. In fact, recruiting sufficient Election Clerks is one of the things Alternate Judges fear most and it prevents them from stepping up. This is one of the reasons we have implemented our Election Clerks Pool to help our Judges.
Executing the staffing for a Republican Primary will be challenging. We are already working on planning and preparations for the Republican Primary and have begun recruiting as one would naturally think. The appeal you are reading now is the first step in this recruitment.
We want to continue our recent success as well as continue to enhance our election worker pool by putting forth better-trained and highly motivated election workers.
Continuing to Build Our Team
We must continuously build and improve our team because our pool of election workers is constantly changing. Membership in the pool of election workers is very dynamic/ Recruiting and training new Election Judges never really ends; we are never done with the process because the team faces a certain amount of turnover after each election cycle.
Some of our election workers move out of the county (or even the state) and are therefore no longer legally eligible to participate as election workers. Others permanently retire from the team due to age or health issues.
Some, after working in elections for years, simply want to do something else and decide to do other Party work instead.
Some long-serving election workers drop out because they don't wish to learn the use of the new election equipment Dallas County purchased and its new and deeper training that is now required.
Some election workers change their phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses and we can't proactively contact them anymore and they stop contacting us. We cannot communicate with some potential election workers.
Some election workers get washed out of our election worker pool because we cannot vet them for various reasons. We can get applications from very serious and well-meaning people who simply aren't registered to vote in Dallas County (a legal requirement in the Texas Election Code for all election workers). Remember, the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex is composed of multiple counties. It is easy to live on the wrong side of a political boundary that makes them legal residents of another country. Not too surprisingly, some Democrats even apply to become Republican Election Judges. In the past, when we were so short-staffed that we were looking to fill any position with merely any warm body, we mistakenly placed people in Republican positions without asking many questions. No more! Every application and assignment is properly vetted.
Some election workers don't want to work every election. Yes, some can't work every election for legitimate reasons. In other words, not everybody in our database is available for scheduling in every election. Life can get in the way and it is totally understandable.
Also, it is easier to get election workers to commit to serving in a Presidential election than in a local election. However, local elections are very important and we usually have the same number of Voting Centers to staff. We still often hear, "I don't want to work this upcoming election, but I will work other ones."
In other words, entropy is alive and well and directly impacts the operations of our pool of election workers. It is all normal attrition common to any large group of workers. Individually, none of these sources for losing election workers is large. But, a certain amount of turnover does happen. Even taken together, from all causes, we're not talking about big numbers of people. From year to year, we can easily lose 10% of the total pool for any election.
Yes, these losses must be replaced. Indeed, we continuously recruit new election workers to fill any resulting vacancies created by normal attrition. We recruit year-round and for the last two years have done much better than the mere "replacement rate".
In addition, we always endeavor to recruit far more than just replacements so that we can increase the total size of the pool. Our recruiting outreach has been very aggressive. In fact, in the last two years, we have not only recruited replacements due to normal losses, but we have grown the total pool of election workers by four times (400%)!
Currently, we are blessed to have an election worker pool that is just large enough to meet our staffing requirements. But, it is fair to add a "just barely" qualifier. It is always challenging just before staffing deadlines to fill all of the vacancies when we begin to reach the bottom of our list of available judges willing to work.
This turnover is actually a good thing because the replacements bring in "fresh blood" and vitality. It also causes the average age of our election workers to trend downward as younger incoming people replace older outgoing people.
To increase our coverage rate from 98% to 100%, we need a slightly larger pool, particularly for pre-trained Election Judges who can step in at the last minute to cover last-minute "emergency" vacancies (cat trouble, sudden illnesses, deaths in the immediate families, etc.)
Highly prized will be election workers who will go anywhere they are needed, often well beyond their residential neighborhoods and sometimes in deeply blue areas of Dallas County.
To stay with the sports metaphor, our team needs a deeper bench.
Please Join Our Team!
Being an Election Officer is very rewarding and worthwhile work.
These are paid positions and you will be trained and mentored if desired.
We have a dedicated election worker Coordinator, Ms. Nancy Anderton, who will handle your application process, training and your assignment to a Voting Center. You can contact her by clicking here with any questions you have.
Joining the team begins with completing a simple online application shown at the link below. Submit this form and the process will begin. The online submission will land directly on Nancy's desktop and phone in real time and she will contact you as soon as possible.
We are particularly interested in getting more applications from people willing to be Presiding Judges, Co-Judges and Alternate Judges. We have a near-term need for more Alternate Judges. Come the Republican Primary, we will need Presiding Judges/Co-Judges.
We always have a need to increase our pool of Election Clerks in order to help our Judges, particularly new Judges, to fill their voting crews. While we don't assign clerks to Voting Centers like we do Judges (that is within the exclusive purview of the Presiding Judge of each Voting Center), we do maintain a list of Elections Clerks that allows us to assist Presiding Judges looking to fill any holes in the voting crew rosters. Our Election Clerk Pool has proven to be very helpful for our Judges. If you would like to be an Election Clerk, please complete the same form at the link shown.
If you have previously submitted this online application (as a Judge or Clerk), you do not have to submit another one. You are already in our database so a duplicate isn't needed. If you need to make a change to a previously submitted application, rather than submitting an additional online form, simply contact Nancy Anderton with your changes. Our support system for managing Judges, Alternates and Clerks is online and operates in real-time. Nancy can make your changes instantly.
This is noble and patriotic work; please consider joining our team.